The Sparks That Come With Friction

Author - Emma Stanley

It's strange to think that only four months ago, I was in Colorado awaiting messages from Keith and Arlie to connect me to the people I now spend just about every waking moment with. It's also strange that in just three short months, we've been able to impact each other in the biggest and smallest of ways. We push each other towards our goals and shape our theologies together as we learn to defend what most of us have never thought about but have always known.

I gotta say, some of us (some of us being me) are as stumped as the trees we've been cutting down "out back" whenever Keith starts to stretch our understanding to the max. When we get to sit and talk, to open the discussions back up where we're struggling with a concept, we wrestle together until we gain the understanding that we yearn for. I must be honest that often, more questions arise than answers. All this to say, let's talk about the ways these once-upon-a-time strangers have changed me and caused friction to strengthen and sharpen me just as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).

Jauhmar is one of the deepest thinkers I know. He ties all of the knowledge we've been given to itself. He holds onto knowledge well and wants to gain a rounded understanding of what we are learning. He doesn't take the easy way out, just accepting what is said, but instead challenges it, thinking out loud and asking the questions that seem too hard to ask. Jauhmar has taught me how to defend what I've always thought was true by putting it up to scripture actually to show its truth.

Sydney has helped me grow, namely in routine and in endurance. She wakes up every morning with a go plan. Many mornings, I have awoken to her empty bed. As silly as it sounds, this has often helped me to get my booty out of bed as well and get my day started with time in the Word. This practice has helped me stay consistent in my time with the Lord. She goes to bed most nights reading a book that expands her knowledge on how to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. She's seemingly always reforming her ways of thinking and spending her free time working out or learning new recipes in sourdough and baking, not for herself but for the guys to have something to enjoy. She has often shown how to work hard and fast in some of the most confusing and tiring times. She is someone I go to when I am struggling with the logistics of tasks and has, time and time again, helped me with my thinking, agreeing with me on some things but many times pointing me to a more God-honoring and service-driven mindset.

Cesar has an almost intoxicating amount of patience, and he is quick to sit and throw a smile on when I would've been rolling my eyes and giving up on the person in front of me. As we've embarked on all of our yard work and construction throughout the weeks, Cesar has patiently waited for others to be on the same page, giving everyone a chance to learn before moving to the next task. He has shown me what it is to take pause and appreciate the process of the tasks we embark on and how much of a joy it can be to teach others what can be second nature to us. It has been a treat to see this gift of his grow. Learning from him has been a joy.

Keyshawn has taught me how to ask questions, breaking down my thinking of "well, it's in the Bible, so I shouldn't question it." He is quick to ask questions, yearning to understand hard concepts, and does so in such a respectful way. He sits and ponders his questions before voicing them. He makes sure to include all around him in his response, asking questions for the benefit of everyone. He is very patient in his responses and gracious when others are quick to speak, such as myself. Keyshawn responds kindly, allowing others to answer him in their own time. Humble in his response, Keyshawn is quick to learn and listen to what others have to say. He has challenged me in my quickness to control and take charge, giving me grace when I take advantage of that and showing me how to be quick to forgive without letting those around me step over me.

So, I'm learning friction is good. It sharpens my mind and rounds out the rogue and dull bits of me so that I can cut through the hard and seemingly impossible moments to be a true disciple of Christ. A true disciple, through patience, teachability, time of reflection, moments of vulnerability, endurance, and friction.

I ask that you join me in prayer as we learn one another and sharpen each other so that we might go out and make disciples of all nations.

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